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Open Letter to Standing Rock

Dear Siblings,

My name is Kaleb Autman, I am a young blk ("black") organizer , activist, and photojournalist based out of Chicago.

I love you all. You all have been warriors for all of us, the world has watched as you all have stood up to not only the federal government of the U.S.A but to a whole system of oppression, White Supremacy & Colonialism. You all have did it in a way that has crossed borders of intersectionality in struggles including but not limited to Flint, MI , Police Violence , and Violence against Women & Girls of Color.

This is not the first time we have seen a pipeline built by the masterminds of this country. White Colonialism from existence has only look at rich white cis men as superior and every things else beneath them, including Mother Earth.

Land in the eyes of white colonialist is valuable, the capitalist theology is indeed if you have something you like and it is valuable, you want more of it. Then comes the idea when you have a lot of it you want to make more version of it (ie the latest Iphone etc.).

Mother Earth is valuable and they want to take all of its valuable but limited resources and make money off of it while also perpetuating violence upon her. With the continuous burning of fossil fuels, mass production of meat, the deforestation, and cutting down of trees you and I both know that we are going to be in trouble. They think that they can take all of her resources and destroy her without problems. They are wrong!

As a Blk person whose Grandma has said we have Blackfoot Indigenous Blood but not growing up knowing or not embracing that beautiful culture, I have been brainstorming about how can I help this movement. I was kind of lost. Then I brainstorm the problems that we as blk folk face then tried to connect them back to other issues of state violence. I saw a direct relationship to our struggles. I see a direct use of pipelines being built to carry poor blk children from uneducated schools to the prison system. I see the use of pipelines to pump drugs into blk community and to the poison the water your community while to destroy your sacred land. I see this monster of a system.

Then I went on to think about the ways we are going to dismantle this monster that has so many systems of oppression embedded into it.The solution that I came up with is simply to UNIFY. To unify all of our struggles together as oppressed people and environmentalist would be a greater source of people power. We all see the common enemy so why don't we all fight this enemy at once. But in order to unify our communities we must continue to engage our people in political education and resistance. It is our duty to mobilize our people because the next 4 years under Trump will be hell if we don't stand up and fight back.

It is our duty to be allies to each other. To respect each other needs and wants. To be there for each other in the times are needed. We are going to have to shut some things down for each other. We are going to have to yell sometimes at each other. We are going cry. We are going to feel tired and defeated. This is apart of the process. We can't give up now

In the words of a well respected BlK Womyn Freedom Fighter Assata Shakar, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Are you ready?

With Love and Solidarity,

Kaleb Autman

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